Hiram College

The Common First-Year Experience

As part of the New Liberal Arts, students not only develop the basic skills they need to be successful students, they are encouraged to engage in deep reflection and contemplation.

The Common First-Year Experience is much more intentional than just a colloquium. Students begin by attending a fall orientation program, and participate in a common reading, along with a first-year seminar course. The experience is designed to familiarize them with the norms and expectations of the Hiram community; acquaint them with faculty and staff around campus; expose them to a variety of co-curricular opportunities, and help them develop college-level writing and communication skills.

Students also learn how to critically examine their own values, interests, and aspirations, so that they are better equipped to understand, work with, and empathize with people that are different than themselves.

During the course of their studies, students will explore Hiram’s “Five Cs” – Character, Career, Curriculum, Community, and Calling – by addressing questions such as:

  • What kind of person do I want to be?
  • What kind of work do I want to do?
  • What should I learn and what skills should I build?
  • How can I serve my community?
  • How can I build a meaningful life?